Ford stock prices slid nearly two percent Wednesday after a senior Chinese state planning official revealed that a yet-unnamed American automaker could be penalized soon for fixing prices in China, reports Reuters. The revelation came through the country’s official China Daily newspaper, and it’s currently unknown which US automotive company might be facing fines.
GM shares dropped roughly three percent in response to the news.
The China Daily reports that China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Director, Zhang Handong, says Chinese investigators found evidence that a US automaker had distributors begin fixing prices back in 2014. Still, Reuters notes that the news broke shortly after US president-elect Donald Trump called into question the US policy of regarding Taiwan as part of “one China,” and that the Chinese government has used regulatory sanctions as a form of retaliation before.
China is currently the world’s largest automotive market, and accounted for about 16 percent of Ford’s $9.4 billion global pretax profit in 2015. If either Ford or GM is fined for monopolistic practices, it would be the second time this month that the NDRC levied a penalty, and the seventh time since the NDRC started investigating monopolistic practices in 2011.